Thursday, September 13, 2012

Presentation: Traditional Approaches to Reducing Modern Health Disparities

Presentation:  "Traditional Approaches to Reducing Modern Health Disparities"

Association of American Indian Physicians

Oklahoma City, OK

Unfortunately, American Indians suffer from among the worst health dispartiites in the nation.  For many tribes, traditional lifestyles and traditional approaches to health promotion could be used today to improve health status.  For example, working toward balance among spiritual, mental, physical, and emotional forces is the traditional Lakota approach to health.  Unfortunately, in modern times, much of healthcare is focused primarily on physical health and the role of a holistic approach is not used.  When we think about chronic health conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure, controlling stress and living in balance are great methods to assist in controlling blood pressure and blood sugar.  In addition, a holistic approach can help to prevent disease and to reduce behavioral health concerns like depression and anxiety.  Blending the best of modern science and the best of tradional, holistic approaches might be the right approach for many American Indians as well as other populations.  The purpose of this conference was to understand the best ways to blend traditional culture and modern medicine to improve health outcomes.

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